Michael Bloomberg victory in Summit County stuns Democratic leader | ParkRecord.com

Michael Bloomberg victory in Summit County stuns Democratic leader

A dropbox for ballots in Summit County, Utah.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the first-place finisher in the Democratic presidential primary in Summit County on Tuesday, outdistancing the field in a county where many former New Yorkers and others from the tri-state area have settled over the years.

Bloomberg, who suspended the campaign after the Super Tuesday primary contests, received 1,605 votes in Summit County. Former Vice President Joe Biden finished in second place in the county, garnering 1,546 votes, while the third-place finisher was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with 1,445 votes. Sanders won the statewide vote.

The numbers were last updated on Thursday. The final tally is expected to be released on March 16, when the Summit County Council, acting as the board of canvassers, is tentatively scheduled to conduct the canvass. There appears to be a chance the order of finish could change once all the ballots are counted since there is a narrow margin between the top three vote-getters in a countywide election.

President Trump easily won the Republican primary in the county, receiving 3,384 votes. The second-place finisher in the GOP contest was former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who received 339 votes.

Bloomberg emerged as a formidable candidate in Park City and surrounding Summit County. There is a large population of people who have moved to the Park City area from the New York City metropolitan area, running from southern Connecticut to northern New Jersey and encompassing southern New York and Long Island. It is likely Bloomberg also appealed to the Park City area’s moderate Democrats. Park City Mayor Andy Beerman, a top-level politician in Summit County, endorsed Bloomberg.

But the leader of the Summit County Democratic Party, Meredith Reed, said in an interview Bloomberg’s win in the county was a surprise. She said Democrats were not talking to her about Bloomberg as the primary approached.

“I’m stunned,” Reed said about the Bloomberg win, adding, “I’m not familiar with any Bloomberg supporters.”

She said it is unclear what led to Bloomberg’s victory in the county. She said the people who moved to the Park City area from the tri-state area could have pushed him toward the win. She said Bloomberg’s business background may have appealed to Park City-area voters and also said Democratic voters in Summit County are largely white.

“They might connect with a wealthy New York guy,” Reed said about the Democratic electorate in Summit County.

Reed prior to the primary predicted former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren would win Summit County. Buttigieg, who dropped out of the contest two days before Super Tuesday, finished fifth in Summit County while Warren was fourth.

The primaries on Tuesday drew broad attention in Summit County and the rest of Utah as a result of the Super Tuesday timing of the balloting. Utah in the past typically voted later in the nominating season, after presumptive nominees had emerged in the earlier contests. By holding the primaries on Super Tuesday, one of the most important political dates of the year, the political parties wanted to boost the influence of the state in the nominating process.

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